Unlearning City Behaviour

Eliza Chojnacka, David Schessl, Amelie Schlemmer

Getting to know the city through our bodies. Getting to know our bodies through the city.

The project aims to find new perspectives on human behaviour in cities through observing, performing and experimenting in urban areas. One core element of the process was unlearning patterns of how we usually move in an urban context. These inner body experiences got translated into different synesthetic notation systems.

“Unlearning” means constantly questioning patterns of how we move in an urban context. For this purpose, the urban sport Parkour served as a tool to escape the linear way of using our environment. Breaking the routine of familiar behaviour created space to discover new potentials of spaces.

Within the spectrum body – relationship – environment, three notation systems emerged. They are based on performative acts that decode space in uncommon ways:

Moving Traces is confronting people by showing patterns which represent unusual movements in an urban environment. The human touch with the object / building manifests in ephemeral chalk traces. They become a riddle for unknown paths.

Walking Partiture explains the personal experience of a walking sequence. It is a sound poetry and its visual transcription mirrors the pedantic observation of single steps and the movement of the foot sole, its rhythm and intensity.

Ass.ociation shares insights into the very intimate act of sitting down. The city is looking back: Adding the perspective of the city reveals the relationship between our human bodies and the urban structures. This notation system became a filter that creates a sensual map of the urban environment.

David Schessl


June 2019
Eliza Chojnacka David Schessl Amelie Schlemmer